City promotes bikes, but not safety

8/24/2010:

A Hoboken resident has tried to get the city to take bike safety and education seriously, with no results. Therefore, today’s Hoboken411 Reader Mail:

Hoboken not fulfilling bike safety duties

“Today , as on most days, I ran into several cyclist biking down a one way street. I picked what looked to be the most experienced cyclist, who was wearing a helmet with his bike properly loaded w gear. I asked if he was aware that he was going down a one way street. He said yes. When I asked if he was aware that it was illegal he said , “I don’t think so.”

This is an issue I have addressed with City Hall numerous times over the past year. I have written letters and talked with Mayor Zimmer, Director of Transportation and Director of Safety all to no avail. The city continues to promote cycling as a pretty alternative to autos while no public campaign exists to explain the responsibilities of cyclist are same as a vehicle. I have put the city on notice regarding this several times over the past year. They have failed to take action or even respond except to say thanks for your input and basically “isn’t it great seeing families take to their bikes”. No response what so ever regarding the safety issues or lack of cycling ordinances in Hoboken.

It is so disturbing to know the dangers of illegal cycling and watch it only grow in this town. The town has a duty of care and is only increasing the dangers to pedestrians, cyclist and drivers by promoting cycling without ordinances or enforcement. I also consider it a misuse of funds to accept state transportation funds while compromising the safety of the community.

Here’s the statue for those inclined to want proof. NJ Reg 39:4-14.1 Rights and responsibilities of persons using bicycles are those applicable to the driver of a vehicle except as specified.”

An Experienced Biker

18 Responses

  1. getz76 says:

    I completely agree with the letter.

    I have to dodge multiple bicycles on my walk to and from work every day. The best was last night, when I was on the north-east corner of Newark and Washington. I was fighting my way to cross Washington (with a green light mind you!) on foot when some old hag on a bike on Washington St cut right in front of me (going south in the northbound lane) and went down Newark the wrong way.

    Driving down Newark is also exciting. It is like a surreal, 3D version of Frogger. Dodging cars, jaywalking pedestrians and bikes going east on the westbound-only portion of the road.

    I hope these idiots injure themselves before they hurt an innocent pedestrian or cause a real accident.

    • getz76 says:

      I just want to clarify I did not intend “old hag” to be a derogatory term, just illustrative. I should have used “aged, patchouli-smelling, graying-long-haired female”. [quote comment=”196512″]I completely agree with the letter.I have to dodge multiple bicycles on my walk to and from work every day. The best was last night, when I was on the north-east corner of Newark and Washington. I was fighting my way to cross Washington (with a green light mind you!) on foot when some old hag on a bike on Washington St cut right in front of me (going south in the northbound lane) and went down Newark the wrong way.Driving down Newark is also exciting. It is like a surreal, 3D version of Frogger. Dodging cars, jaywalking pedestrians and bikes going east on the westbound-only portion of the road. I hope these idiots injure themselves before they hurt an innocent pedestrian or cause a real accident.[/quote]

  2. spiffy says:

    They’ll take on bike safety when a well-spun press release is ready.

    • animal_lover says:

      Yes you’re right about spinning…take for example the Hertz car spin:
      I read the spin ,” Yet some people still insist, against all logic, on owning a car”, and outrageous claims -“for every car that can be rented by the hour, 6 to 20 drivers have liked the experience so much, they’ve given up the car they owned”- published on the Hertz car program in the NY Times. It really amounted to irresponsible journalism. If you believe this and the city had bridges to sell our taxes could be much lower. :)
      [quote comment=”196513″]They’ll take on bike safety when a well-spun press release is ready.[/quote]

  3. peacefulveg says:

    I completely agree with this letter. I’m a cyclist in Hoboken, and I always follow the road direction. One day my bf was driving and a cyclist turned the wrong way on a one-way and my bf almost hit him. The cyclist had the gall to give him a dirty look and hit his car. The cyclist was completely in the wrong. I do wish that there was more space on the road for both cyclist and driver. I feel bad that when I’m on my way to work on 1st St, there’s usually a car driving slowly behind unwilling to pass by in fear that they may hit me. I really wish that there was only one side of the road parking so that there’d be more space on the road. We should totally be more bike friendly… maybe Copenhagen style roads :)

    • getz76 says:

      I wish all cyclists in town were like you.

      I may be one of those guys in a car unwilling to pass you. I sometimes drive to drop off my daughter and I go down 1st St. I don’t mind slowing down for you guys actually following the rules. Rather be safe than smash into you.[quote comment=”196530″]I completely agree with this letter. I’m a cyclist in Hoboken, and I always follow the road direction. One day my bf was driving and a cyclist turned the wrong way on a one-way and my bf almost hit him. The cyclist had the gall to give him a dirty look and hit his car. The cyclist was completely in the wrong. I do wish that there was more space on the road for both cyclist and driver. I feel bad that when I’m on my way to work on 1st St, there’s usually a car driving slowly behind unwilling to pass by in fear that they may hit me. I really wish that there was only one side of the road parking so that there’d be more space on the road. We should totally be more bike friendly… maybe Copenhagen style roads [/quote]

  4. anyway says:

    Get real. The City has done more to promote cycling safety and the benefits of cycling as an alternative means of clean, green transportation than any prior administration. Because some idiot cyclist was wrongly riding the wrong way down a one way street is no more the City’s fault than any other vehicular infraction committed by a driver. Perhaps when the cops are done enforcing the speeding laws, the double parking laws, the illegal right turn when the sign says “no turn on red” and all the other wrongs done by drivers in multi-ton cars and SUVs they can turn their attention to the cyclists who are violating the laws.

  5. Dr.Chico says:

    This guy needs to get a life. If people want to run the risk of injury that’s their call.(same as jay-walking) I assume if you see a guy going the wrong way down a one way this should warrant a call into HPD? Drop everything fella’s…we got a BMX going east on 2nd st – all units available!

    • animal_lover says:

      There is a public cost to the injuries sustained. Think about why we have helmet laws, mandatory vacinnes, etc. What iy you were the one who hit the cyclist that is now laid up in the hospital w a head injury? Or what if this person were you or a family member? Wouldn’t you then ask why someone who is responsible for public safety didn’t intercede in the public planning phases?[quote comment=”196509″]This guy needs to get a life. If people want to run the risk of injury that’s their call.(same as jay-walking) I assume if you see a guy going the wrong way down a one way this should warrant a call into HPD? Drop everything fella’s…we got a BMX going east on 2nd st – all units available![/quote]

  6. spiffy says:

    anyway, where’s the public awareness campaign? Paint and bike racks don’t count.

    • matt_72 says:

      If it takes a public awareness campaign to get people to follow the rules of the road then they probably shouldn’t be on the road at all. Maybe if the cops in Hoboken and other communities actually enforced traffic laws this wouldn’t be a issue. But they don’t enforce traffic regs on bicyclists so they often times just ignore them.

      Interesting factoid, the nightly news did a story on this in NYC over the weekend. They not only found tons of bikers riding the wrong way down 1 way streets, they even got them on camera doing it while riding past some cops. I had a good laugh over that one.[quote comment=”196542″]anyway, where’s the public awareness campaign? Paint and bike racks don’t count.[/quote]

  7. hobokenj says:

    Just saw a guy riding up Garden St riding his bike the wrong way talking on the phone….someone call Swat….hahahah

  8. Kaiser Sosay says:

    its not just bikes that motorists have to worry about.parents and there BABY carriages in bike lanes.someone defend that.or is it ok until someone gets hurt.

    • animal_lover says:

      Baby carriage being pushed or runner w a carriage or even biker with a child in seat going down a one way street is the easier to tackle than a bike because the State will step up in this case. DYFS is very responsive in bringing accountability or removing a child from parents who put their children at high risk of potentially deadly injury.[quote comment=”196704″]its not just bikes that motorists have to worry about.parents and there BABY carriages in bike lanes.someone defend that.or is it ok until someone gets hurt.[/quote]

      • Dperez says:

        I agree with you, DYFS should be contacted if an idiot parent takes his/her child for a bike ride on a one way street (I’m talking about the bikes with the baby seats on the back) . That is really both dangerous and stupid. [quote comment=”196729″]Baby carriage being pushed or runner w a carriage or even biker with a child in seat going down a one way street is the easier to tackle than a bike because the State will step up in this case. DYFS is very responsive in bringing accountability or removing a child from parents who put their children at high risk of potentially deadly injury.

        [/quote]

  9. dude07 says:

    very distrubing moment, crossing on fifth adams and a young mother, wheeling an empty carriage, proceeds to cross with child in tow on bicycle behind her at the age of about 3! all i could think was “what are you thinking” maybe licenses should be issued for motherhood?

  10. homeworld says:

    This was an issue I raised at the Bike and Pedestrian info session a few weeks ago.

  11. wiskeytango1 says:

    is this town hong kong or malaysia or singapore..she came from a one horse town and has a plan..zip car 6 dollars an hr and how can any one rent to go to the shore for the weekend..daddy is a diamond cutter on east and west coast. I cant afford tabago..thankyou.

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